Is there a way to cheaply maintain a DPF?

I would be interested in your opinion about DPF problems and whether some mechanics and main dealers make a big deal out of problems that are otherwise easily and cheaply resolvable? A couple of Polish friends actively look for diesels with DPF issues in this country to either export for repair or repair them for their own use. Often all it takes is EGR valve removal and a clean in the parts-cleaner, then DPF removal, a fill with DPF cleaner for an overnight bath, before jet-washing the crud out in the morning. I've seen them do this on cars they've bought cheaply and for the price of a couple of hours labour and £15 for DPF Cleaner they've resolved issues with the vehicles which run like new afterwards.

Asked on 11 November 2018 by romford4

Answered by Honest John
With luck, you might be able to clean an EGR once but the second time it falls to bits. And the cost of fixing an EGR depends on the dismantling. On some engines it's not too difficult but on some Volkswagens it's a long and tedious job. DPFs are now "checked for tampering" in the UK MoT, so any undocumented sign of removal and replacement can mean a fail.

Two different substances can need to be cleaned from DPFs. The easy one is soot, sometimes cleared by an additive or a forced regeneration. The more difficult one is ash that can fill up and block a DPF by 80,000 miles. That needs to be chemically cleaned, which usually means sending the DPF away to someone like Ceramex who clean the ash out and return the DPF tested and documented for the MoT.
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